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Money & Influence 01.20.2023

Bloomberg: Ohio’s Historic Corruption Case Tests Limits of Citizens United

“We’ve legalized bribery in our campaign finance system,” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio and a longtime Ohio advocate of campaign finance and government reform. “This case proves we’ve essentially set the stage for Ohioans to be taken advantage of. And they were.”

Money & Influence 04.6.2022

The Guardian: Dark money: the quixotic quest to clean up US campaign financing

But Karen Hobert Flynn, president of the democracy reform group Common Cause, said: “The reality since that decision shows that it is not necessarily independent – we see lots of coordination between candidates and Super Pacs – and it causes enormous damage to our imperfect democracy where wealthy mega-donors, corporations, special interest groups not only impact and influence elections but, once elected, lawmakers feel like they need to grant favours for those who funded their campaigns.” Super Pacs are obliged to disclose their donors but these can include non-profits which make the original source of the money hard to track. More than 2,000 Super Pacs operated in each of the last two election cycles. The negative consequences have been felt not only in Washington but at state level, added Flynn, whose long fight for campaign finance reform in Connecticut bore fruit in 2008. “It has created a huge amount of cynicism that Congress and state legislatures are corrupt because they benefit from outside groups spending money on their behalf and that people’s voices do not matter. “The money has also led to further polarisation, driving more extreme kinds of measures, particularly on the right where we’ve seen money supporting those who want to overturn a fair and free election. If you look at the top 10 Super Pacs and their outside spending so far just in 2022, you’ll see nine out of the top 10 Super Pacs are conservative or support Republican candidates. It isn’t like, ‘Hey, both sides do it and it’s equal and it’s not a problem.’”

New York Daily News (Op-Ed): After Citizens United, an awakening

In the past decade, Citizens United has come to symbolize not just the deluge of money in our elections, but also voters’ frustration at not being heard by their elected officials. Polling shows that only 17% of us believe our political parties and politicians “care about people like me.” The rest of us are feeling disenfranchised. Only 20% of us are “satisfied” with our nation’s campaign finance laws; the rest of us want change.New Yorkers are leading the way to a post-Citizens United future. For decades, we’ve supported public funding of campaigns to counterbalance big money corruption.

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